Black Ants (Lasius niger)
Black Ants (Lasius niger), also known as Garden Ants, are the most common Ant species in the UK. Preferring temperate conditions they build their nests in the soil or in association with buildings. Nests are commonly found in gardens, under paving slabs, in foundations and sometimes within buildings.
Key Facts About Black Ants…
Black Ants (Lasius niger) are social insects, living in colonies. As with all social insects, there are a number of different castes comprising a complicated community within the nest. Black Ants (Lasius niger). There is one queen per nest. The workers and are the most common caste and the ones that are most likely to be seen away from the nest. Males and presumptive queens are produced at certain times of the year and these are winged individuals, the so-called Flying Ants, which are common on warm humid days in the summer.
The workers of the Black Ant are about 2-5mm in length, almost exclusively black or black / brown in colour. The presumptive queens and males are larger in body size, 6.6-10mm and 3.5-4.7mm respectively, again predominately black but on emergence from the nest they have wings. The wings are lost by the female once mating has taken place and the males die shortly after mating.
Black Ants (Lasius niger) Significance of Control…
Black Ants are the only indigenous UK species that commonly enter houses. Foraging workers are very active and will feed on a wide range of foodstuffs but prefer sweet substances. They do not normally pose a health risk but are a nuisance and can physically contaminate foodstuffs and cause distress.
When Black Ants have nested indoors, infestations may cause problems at any time of year. In such circumstances, their nests are usually found in the insulation layer below the property.
The mating swarms of Flying Ants can also be a short-term nuisance.
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